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7 fall festivals we just cannot wait for

Published: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 @ 11:21 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 1:13 PM

Same as original with one festival added.

Fall festival season is in full swing. Sure, some of the best have come and gone already 😭, but there are plenty festivals still to come.

Here are a few of our favorites:

>> Our complete fall festival guide

>> The best corn mazes around Dayton

>> The creepiest haunted houses, hayrides and trails 

Explore 30-acres of a re-created 16th century English village, when you take a step back in time to attend the Ohio Renaissance Festival. (Source: Facebook)

1.) OHIO RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL

Prepare thyself for some medieval fun. This 30-acre permanent village has been re-created to transport visitors to 16th Century England.

>> The craziest things you’ll see at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

Food highlights include: Giant Turkey Leggs, Steak-On-A-Stake, Barbecue, Stuffed Spuds, Bread Bowl Stews, beer, wine and desserts. 

>> The foods you have to try at the Renaissance Festival

Entertainment includes: jousting, musicians, dancers, comedians, jugglers, sword-fighters, storytellers and hundreds of costumed performers on 12 stages in nearly 100 shows daily.

>> 5 things to love about the Renaissance Festival

WHEN: Sept. 2 – Oct. 29 — Nine weekends Saturdays, Sundays plus Labor Day

HOURS: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Renaissance Park in Harveysburg. Just minutes off I-71, exit 45 or I-75, exit 38 on State Route 73 in Warren County.

COST: Tickets: Adults $22.50; Children $9.50 (ages 5-12); Children under 5 free.

INFO: WebsiteFacebook

Scenes from Oktoberfests past. STAFF FILE PHOTO

2.) DAYTON ART INSTITUTE’S OKTOBERFEST

BEER!!! Toast to the fall with the Dayton Art Institute’s signature fund-raiser and one of the region’s biggest festivals. 

>> What you need to know about Oktoberfest 2017

>> Beer, brats, food trucks and a few more reasons to head to Oktoberfest

Browse booths from more than 50 artisans from throughout the region, munch on foods from the German-inspired to traditional food truck eats. Wash down that food with ample domestic, international and craft beers, international wines. There will be live music on two stages throughout the weekend.

>> Oktoberfest celebrations around Dayton we can’t wait for this fall

Special events include a Lederhosen lunch on Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring brats, metts, schnitzel sandwiches, German salads, homemade noodles and live entertainment. Another hot ticket is a special preview party Friday evening. 

>> Where to park at Oktoberfest

>> PHOTOS: Oktoberfest 2016

WHEN: Sept. 22-24, 2017

HOURS: Lederhosen Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.; Preview Party: 7- 11 p.m.; Saturday: Noon - 11:30 p.m.; Sunday: Noon - 7 p.m.

WHERE: Grounds of Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton

COST: Admission to the Lederhosen Lunch is free (pay for food). Advance tickets for the Preview Party are $55 for members and $75 for non-members and includes complimentary beer, wine & soft drinks. Food vendors will be on site and premium beverages will be available for purchase. Admission at the gate is $95. Online presales begin later this month. Admission to the festival on Saturday and Sunday will be $5 adults, $3 seniors (60+) & youth (7-19) in advance; $7 adults, $5 seniors & youth at the gate; children 6 & under free.

INFO: WebsiteFacebook

Keeping a family tradition, Donna Bishop (right) pulls fresh pretzels from an oven at the Germantown Pretzel Festival Saturday, Sept. 27. Bishop's father, Lester Peck, was a founder of the festival. Staff photo by Jan Underwood(Underwood, Jan)

3. GERMANTOWN PRETZEL FESTIVAL

You had us at pretzel. This family-friendly fest will make everyone happy, we promise. Carb load with gourmet pretzels stuffed with jalapeno cheese, cheddar cheese and cream cheese. There will also be pizza-flavored pretzels and pretzel buns to kick your sandwiching up a notch or two. Other good eats? Barbecued chicken and ribs, waffles, pork chops, Chinese, Cajun, funnel cakes and more. 

>> 3 reasons to go to the Pretzel Festival

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 23, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 24, noon - 6p.m.

WHERE: Veterans Memorial Park, 190-192 W. Warren St., Germantown.

COST: Free admission

INFO: Website | Facebook

The 37th annual Minster Oktoberfest will take place on Oct. 2 through Oct. 4 , but Saturday will be the biggest day with all sorts of beer-related activities that you wouldn’t typically expect. (Source: Facebook)

4.) MINSTER OKTOBERFEST

If you can’t get enough Oktoberfest fun in Dayton, here is a celebration a short drive north that is definitely worth the drive. But make sure you have a DD for this one! 

>> Oktoberfest celebrations around Dayton we can’t wait for this fall

Of course, there will be plenty of beer and food and craft vendors, but this festival is also famous for some of its silly traditions. You can drink beer from a milk jug, participate in a beer tray relay or a jug-hoisting competition. This festival draws about 80,000 each year to this small village in Auglaize County.

WHEN: Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2017

HOURS: Friday 6 p.m. to midnight, Saturday 10 a.m. to midnight, Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE: One block west of the intersection of SR-119 and SR-66 in Minster

COST: Free admission

INFO: WebsiteFacebook

A few of the chocolate treats you'll find at the Chocolate Festival, benefiting Faith and Friends Radio. CONTRIBUTED

5. CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL

Chocolate-Covered Bacon? 

Chocolate-Covered Cheesecake on a Stick?

Made-to-order fresh doughnuts?

Fresh made fudge?

Chocolate covered popcorn?

Get all of these treats and more at the 15th annual Chocolate Festival, which is a fundraiser for Faith and Friends Radio. There will be more than 50 vendors, plus entertainment for the whole family, at this event.

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Montgomery County Fairgrounds Coliseum, 1043 S. Main St., Dayton

COST: Free admission and parking

INFO: Website

Bradford pays homage to pumpkins with a five-day community celebration. CONTRIBUTED

6. BRADFORD PUMPKIN SHOW

Sure, there are plenty of places to get pumpkins, but what other community holds a five-day festival in honor of them? In addition to pumpkin fun, the midway features games, rides, crafts, concessions and merchandise. During this five-day event, enjoy one of the many parades that take place while indulging your taste buds with pumpkin ice cream and many other tasty festival treats. You can even smash pumpkins without getting in trouble!

WHEN: Oct. 10-14: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, 4-10 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 12-10 p.m. 

WHERE: Downtown Bradford, OH  

COST: Free  

INFO: Website

Sauerkraut is served on everything, including pizza, at the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville. The operators say they are ready to cancel this year’s festival unless the village sets aside new rules.(Staff Writer)

7.) OHIO SAUERKRAUT FESTIVAL

Sauerkraut pizza, anyone? This is one of the region’s signature fall festivals. 

>> Ohio Sauerkraut Festival a go for 2017

Shop by visiting the vendor tents ranging from arts and crafts to sculptures, ceramics, paintings, woodworking and more. And of course, dare to try some more unique sauerkraut dishes from fudge to a “sundae.” 

>> PHOTOS: Ohio Sauerkraut Festival 2016

WHEN: Oct. 14-15, 2017

HOURS: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Downtown Waynesville. Shuttle buses are recommended. Take shuttle buses from Wayne Local High School.

COST: Free admission

INFO: WebsiteFacebook

These EPIC displays from the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival will take your breath away

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Chinese Lantern Festival

You’ve never seen holiday lights like THIS before! 

(Well, unless you went last year, of course!)

The Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival has returned to the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds with brand new light sculptures, more exciting performances and more cultural experiences. 

>> How to go to the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival this year

It’s definitely worth the drive to take part in this enchanting and immersive cultural experience. 

>> Comedian Kevin Hart is coming to Dayton 

The 200-foot-long Chinese dragon (which, for some context, is longer than four school buses) has returned this year. New this year is a group of color-changing dinosaurs that are 3 stories high. Together, with an additional 35 sets of whole new lights, the lanterns illuminate the fairgrounds. 

>> Popular Dayton brewery announces it’s launching a second label

Still need some convincing? Take a look for yourself. 

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival is returning to the Expo Center with bigger and brighter lights this winter!(Allegra Czerwinski)

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival is returning to the Expo Center with bigger and brighter lights this winter!(Allegra Czerwinski)

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival is returning to the Expo Center with bigger and brighter lights this winter!(Allegra Czerwinski)

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival is returning to the Expo Center with bigger and brighter lights this winter!(Allegra Czerwinski)

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival is returning to the Expo Center with bigger and brighter lights this winter!(Allegra Czerwinski)

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival is returning to the Expo Center with bigger and brighter lights this winter!(Allegra Czerwinski)

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival is returning to the Expo Center with bigger and brighter lights this winter!(Allegra Czerwinski)

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival is returning to the Expo Center with bigger and brighter lights this winter!(Allegra Czerwinski)

Believe us when we say to witness these incredible lantern displays in person is far more breathtaking. 

The festival will light up the Natural Resources Park at the Ohio State Expo Center and Fairgrounds, located at 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus from Nov. 17, 2017 to Jan. 7, 2018. 

It’s open nightly from 5:30-10:00 p.m with the ticket booth opening at 5 p.m. and closing at 9:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $10-15 per person, and will be available for purchase at the festival entrance, or online at ohiolanternfestival.com. There are also family 4-packs available for $40 and a special VIP package for $25 per person. 

Macy’s Day Parade 2017: 5 things to know about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 10:54 AM
Updated: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 10:54 AM

Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade - 5 Fast Facts

There are a number of things associated with Thanksgiving− turkey, pilgrims, big dinners and family. One of them is the tradition of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

RELATED: The least and most affordable places to spend your holiday vacation

Since 1924, Macy's has helped thousands of families celebrate the holidays with its annual parade. 

If you plan to travel to New York to see the spectacle for yourself this year or will be tuning in, here are five things to know about the parade:

Spider-Man at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York.(Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Where is the parade route and where can I view it?

The parade steps off at 9 a.m. sharp from 77th Street and Central Park West and travels south. Once the procession hits Columbus Circle, it turns east onto Central Park South and marches until turning south again onto 6th Avenue. The parade continues south until reaching 34th Street, where it turns west and ends at 7th Avenue. The last of the balloons and performers touch 7th Avenue around noon.

(Macy’s)

While there is no seating available for the public, anyone is welcome to bring blankets or chairs and find a spot along the parade route at no charge. Since these spots are first-come, first-serve, some families camp out several hours before the parade begins. Plan to arrive early to snag good seats.

Many regular parade-goers recommend avoiding Macy's official parade viewing area on 34th Street, since it's the most crowded. One balloon handler on Reddit suggested that Columbus Circle also might not be a good viewing area, since the winds are more unpredictable and the procession moves more quickly through that spot. He added that the first few blocks south of 77th Street tend to attract smaller crowds because that street is farther from the train stations.

What is included in the parade procession?

In addition to more than two dozen inflated balloons, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade features floats, clowns, performers and marching bands from across the country. The Peanuts gang appear on their float, Snoopy's Doghouse, alongside McDonald's Big Red Shoe, Mount Rushmore, Winter Wonderland by Delta Airlines and more, including Macy's many floats.

Macy's website also lists the participating clown troupes with themes like Breakfast Clowns, Arrsome Pirates and Viking Clowns. Marching bands in the procession include several high schools and colleges, the U.S. Air Force, New York Police Department, and, of course, Macy's Great American Marching Band.

In addition to the parade procession, the event features performances that are held in the official Macy's viewing area on 34th Street. Check the Macy's website for updates to the lineup and more information on these performances.

The Harrison High School Marching Band from Kennesaw performed Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016 in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.(Jim Galloway / AJC)

Is Macy's unveiling anything special this year?

Among Macy's novelty balloons is a special tribute that deserves recognition. As a nod to the 70th anniversary of "Miracle on 34th Street," Macy's is recreating "Harold the Baseball Player," a balloon that was featured in the classic black-and-white film set in New York.

Though the original balloon appeared in full color during the 1946 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, the recreation is black, white and gray as a throwback to the movie, which was shot on location and featured the parade. 

Can I see the balloons outside of the parade?

All of the balloons are inflated on Wednesday, November 22, and the event is open to the public. Head to Central Park West between 77th Street and 81st Street, near the American Museum of Natural History.

The balloons are inflated between 3 and 10 p.m., but the bulk of them are done in the evening, so it's best to be late to this event.

What if I can't get to New York?

If you can't get to the Empire State for Thanksgiving, there are still plenty of ways to experience the parade in your pajamas. Watch the procession at 9 a.m. EST on NBC to see the balloons, floats and performers without fighting any crowds.

For a behind-the-scenes experience, Macy's has created a series of 360° videos that take the viewer on a tour of its parade studio. See the magic behind the Thanksgiving tradition and learn about how the balloons are made, from sketch to inflation.

This weekend is your last chance to go to the Ohio Renaissance Festival

Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 @ 2:11 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 @ 4:09 PM

Nothing beats a summer festival - and Dayton has more than you could ever dream. Here's 10 of the best ones you won't want to miss. (Tabatha Wharton)

It’s an annual festival tradition you have to experience at least once.

This festival will transport you back to the 16th Century in an English village with knights, jousts, swordsmen, pirates, nobles, peasants and jugglers walking past you in timely costumes. 

>> RELATED: 6 of the craziest things you'll see at Ohio Renaissance Festival

The 28th annual Ohio Renaissance Festival runs Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day Monday for nine weekends — Sept. 2 through Oct. 29.

Here are 5 things to know about the Renaissance Festival:

Scenes from the Ohio Renaissance Festival, which features 14 stages of entertainment. CONTRIBUTED

1. FUN THEMED WEEKENDS

This 30-acre permanent village has been authentically and historically re-created in the flavor of 16th Century England and has special promotions each weekend.

9/2, 9/3 & 9/4 — Family & Friends Weekend 

Adults are two for the price of one, plus all kids 12 and under get in free Saturday, Sunday, and Labor Day.

9/9 & 9/10 — Time Travelers Weekend 

Dress as your favorite character inspired by a movie, TV series, comic book, sci-fi or fantasy work. Costume contests for adults and kids.

9/16 & 9/17 — Pirates Weekend 

Celebrate International Talk like a Pirate Day with a Pirate Stunt Show, Pirate Play Time and Talk like a Pirate contests (for adults and kids). 

9/23 & 9/24 — Barbarian Invasion Weekend 

Rowdy contests in true barbaric fashion await. Compete in the Test of Strength Contest or the Turkey Leg Eating Contest. 

9/30 & 10/1 — Feast of Fools Weekend 

Fools Olympics and King of Fools contests and more.

10/7 & 10/8 — Highland Weekend 

Grab your kilts and join the village in celebrating Highland heritage as villagers host special events including a Haggis Eating Contest, Knobby Knees Contest, and a traditional Highland Games competition. 

10/14 & 10/15 — Fantasy Weekend 

The Witches of Willy Nilly and the fairies will enchant the village. Enter the Fantasy Costume Contest. 

10/21 & 10/22 — Romance Weekend 

Men in tights? Ladies in bloomers? Oh and you can renew your wedding vows in a free Mass Renewal of Vows Ceremony held at St. Peter’s Chapel. 

10/28 & 10/29 — Tricks or Treats Weekend 

Wear your costumes and bring the little ones for trick or treating around the village. Costume contests for adults and kids and pumpkin decorating for the kids.

>> Festivals we cannot wait for

Dirk and Guido, a.k.a. The Swordsmen, will instruct families on how to impale people like a proper gentleman at the 2017 Ohio Renaissance Festival, opening on Sept. 2. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

 

2. ENTERTAINMENT

There is plenty to see on 14 stages offering plenty of entertainment. Don’t miss the hard-hitting action as the Knights of Valour joust three times each day. Comedy and swordplay mesh as The Swordsmen showcase sharp skills and sharp wit. The 65-foot Galleon features a Pirate Comedy Stunt Show twice each day. Strolling musicians include Dylan Robertson, Glass Harmonica, The Flying Dulcimer, Kyle Meadows, Captain John Stout while many a good pub song will be heard in the village pubs.

The festival also offers thrilling human-powered rides, games of skill, warhorse rides, camel rides, the Amazing Maze, and the Tower of London Dungeon of Doom. 

>> Interactive festival guide

3. SHOPPING

The marketplace offers handmade wares including unique items created by world-class artisans. Witness demonstrations of time-honored crafts including glassblowing, blacksmithing, forging, leather tooling, weaving, boot making and more. New to the marketplace this year are original artist Art of Ed Beard Jr, pewter creations by Heekin Pewter and the beautiful floral garlands from The Royal Garland.

Big Turkey legs are only part of the great food found at the Ohio Renaissance Festival. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

4. FOOD

Festival favorites such as giant roasted turkey legs, steak-on-a-stake and bread bowl soups and stews can be found as well as delicious new items. The Chocolate Raven features handmade chocolates and fudge. Archibald Drake’s features an ages old Fish and Chips recipe. KJ’s Cajun Cuisine will have a menu from across the pond and down south. Wash it all down with a wide variety of beers, ales, wines, soft drinks, coffees and teas.

>> Must-try foods at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

5. GROWN-UP FUN

The festival offers daily special events for those 21 and over. The Naughty Bawdy Pub Show features songs and limericks you won’t hear on the streets in an hour-long show. New this year, test your memory and play Willy Nilly Trivia during the Pub Crawl.

WANT TO GO?

What: Ohio Renaissance Festival

When: Sept. 2-Oct. 29 for nine weekends – Saturdays, Sundays & Labor Day

Where: Renaissance Park in Harveysburg. Located just minutes off I-71, exit 45 or I-75, exit 38 on State Route 73 in Warren County.

Cost: Tickets: Adults $22.50; Children $9.50 (ages 5-12); Children under 5 free.

More info: WebsiteFacebook

5 reasons to do Halloween early at this spooktacular weekend festival

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

We visit the 5th Annual Fairborn Halloween Festival.

Celebrate Halloween a weekend early with this community celebration complete with a zombie walk, Witch’s Brew Beer Garden, parade and costume contests.

Here are 5 reasons to go to the Fairborn Halloween Festival Oct. 20-22.

1. NEW: Witch’s Brew Beer Garden and food trucks

New this year is the Witch’s Brew Beer Garden located in the 5/3 Commons area with Hairless Hare, Warped Wing and Heidelberg Distributors. The Witch’s Brew Beer Garden is open from 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. There will be several food trucks/food vendors on site throughout the festival.

>> Halloween events for grown-ups

The 5th Annual Fairborn Halloween Festival ushered in the best of the spooky season on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21-22, 2016. The downtown area was decked out with creepy displays, with food vendors, rides and music filling a portion of Main Street. Costume contests, bands and performers were also a part of the two-day celebration.(Tom Gilliam)

2. SpooktackularParade and costume contest

The 61st Annual Spooktacular Parade will assemble at the Fairborn YMCA. Costume judging will take place from 6-7 p.m., with the parade proceeding from the “Y” at 7:30 p.m. on Kauffman Avenue and down Main Street to the festival’s main stage. Costume prizes will be awarded for different age groups for youth, plus categories of adult, family, animal, best couple and overall scariest. Trick-or-treat at the booths as well.

>> PHOTOS: Fairborn Halloween Festival 2016

3. Zombie Walk

Join in on a Zombie walk Saturday night. Walkers can pre-register at the Fairborn Chamber of Commerce until Thursday, Oct. 19, or can sign up at 5 p.m. on the day of the event at the Fairborn Senior Center. The cost to walk is $3 if already made-up and $6 to have your makeup done by a make-up artist. Beverages, face painting and “blood” splattering will be available at 5 p.m. The walk will begin at 9 p.m. and travel down Main Street to the front of the festival stage, where the zombies will dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

The 5th Annual Fairborn Halloween Festival ushered in the best of the spooky season on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21-22, 2016. The downtown area was decked out with creepy displays, with food vendors, rides and music filling a portion of Main Street. Costume contests, bands and performers were also a part of the two-day celebration.(Tom Gilliam)

4. Fun and games

Amusement rides, games and crafts will take place Friday alongside the costume judging and parade. Saturday’s festivities start at 11 a.m. and include amusement rides, games, crafts, downtown shopping and food vendors. Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. is the perfect time for families and kids to visit the festival to enjoy amusement rides, downtown shopping, food vendors and crafts.

>> Halloween events for kids

5. Live music

On Friday, local band Beesly takes the stage from 9-11 p.m.

On Saturday, local country music performer Jenna Snow will perform at 3:30 p.m. Rock It 88 (’60s and ’70s rock) will perform at 5:30 p.m. Forsaken will perform classic rock starting at 8 p.m.

>> When is Beggars’ Night in your city?

THE SCHEDULE

Here is the complete schedule of events (subject to change)

FRIDAY, OCT. 20

4-11 p.m. — Amusement Rides

6-7:30 p.m. — Games, crafts and activities at YMCA

6-11 p.m. — Foy’s Haunted Museum

6-7 p.m. — Costume judging at YMCA

7:30 p.m. — Spooktacular Parade

9-11 p.m. — Local Band Beesly

SATURDAY, OCT. 21

11 a.m.-11 p.m. — Amusement rides

1:30-2 p.m. — Richens/Timm Academy of Irish Dance

3:30-4:30 p.m. — Jenna Snow

5:30-7 p.m. — Rock It 88

6-7 p.m. — Trick or Treat at the Booths

6-11 p.m. — Foy’s Haunted Museum

8-9:30 p.m. — Forsaken

9:30 p.m. — Zombie Walk

SUNDAY, OCT. 22

Noon-6 p.m. — Amusement rides

WANT TO GO?

What: 6th annual Fairborn Halloween Festival

When: Friday to Sunday, Oct. 20-22

Where: Downtown Fairborn

Cost: Free admission

More info:WebsiteFacebook